The Smoke House Restaurant – Where Jim and Pam Held Their Rehearsal Dinner on “The Office”Dec 22nd, 2010 | By Lindsay | Category: The Office Filming Locations
This past weekend, while out doing some Christmas shopping with the Grim Cheaper, the two of us found ourselves in the Burbank area absolutely ravenous. For whatever reason, though, I could not think of a good place to eat, so the GC suggested we grab a bite at that “old Burbank restaurant across from Warner Brothers Studios”. Because my blondness was in full force that day, I had no idea what on earth he was talking about and just about died when he pulled into the parking lot of the Smoke House Restaurant – the very spot where Jim Halpert (aka John Krasinski) and Pam Beesly (aka Jenna Fischer) hosted the rehearsal dinner for their wedding in the Season 6 episode of fave show The Office titled “Niagara”. And although I have actually stalked this location once before and have even blogged about it, because it was long before The Office had shot there and long before I was even a fan of the show, I decided the restaurant was worthy of a repost.
The original 46-seat Smoke House restaurant first opened in 1946 at the corner of Pass and Riverside Avenues in Burbank. The eatery was a hit with the Hollywood set from the very start, with such stars as Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra (who even has a steak named after him on the Smoke House menu), Judy Garland, Milton Berle, Jack Parr, James Dean, Burl Ives, Walt Disney, and Errol Flynn stopping in regularly to grab a bite to eat. Due to its promise of serving up “fine food at fair prices”, the restaurant became such a Burbank staple that its owners were quickly forced to expand. They started looking for a larger building to move into and, as fate would have it, found one in actor Danny Kaye’s recently constructed Red Coach Inn. Due to city regulations and the Up In Arms actor’s busy filming schedule, Kaye was unable to open the restaurant/night club and in 1949 he sold the never-been-used property to the owners of the Smoke House. The establishment is still located in that very building to this day. And, six decades later, the place is still going strong. In more recent years, such stars as Robert Redford, Kevin Costner, Megan Fox, Andy Garcia, Miley Cyrus, Tish Cyrus, and the entire cast of Friends (who used to stop by regularly after filming) have all been spotted dining there.
George Clooney is such a fan of the place that he named his production company “Smokehouse Pictures” in honor of the legendary restaurant. The actor also did a photo shoot at the eatery in the booth pictured above.
One look at the Smoke House interior and it’s not very hard to see why it has succeeded for over sixty years. With it’s dim lights, dark red booths, and wood-paneled walls, stepping inside the eatery definitely brings one back to a forgotten era. It’s exactly the type of place I’d imagine Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. hanging out at back in the heyday of Hollywood.
Oh, and did I mention the food? During this particular visit I ordered the restaurant’s Cobb Salad and it was easily the biggest salad I’ve ever seen in my entire life! I didn’t even get through one third of it and I was literally STARVING when we showed up at the restaurant. On our previous visit, the GC and I ordered up the eatery’s famous “World’s Greatest Garlic Bread” and I can honestly say that the restaurant wasn’t being arrogant when they conceived that name. It literally was the best garlic bread I’ve ever had in my life! Truth be told, though, all of the Smoke House food is FABULOUS, but be forewarned, their portions are ABSOLUTELY ENORMOUS! The restaurant’s staff is also INCREDIBLY nice and, even though the place was pretty packed at the time, everyone I spoke with took the time to answer all of my silly questions about the filming that has taken place there over the years.
In the “Niagara” episode of The Office, the Smoke House stood in for the supposed Niagara Falls-area restaurant where Jim and Pam held the rehearsal dinner for their wedding. The majority of that scene was filmed in the restaurant’s back room, which, luckily enough, was being set up for a private party while we were there, so I was able to snap a bunch of photographs while the room was empty!
Some filming also took place in the restaurant’s bar area.
The Smoke House’s side room was used in the scene in which Michael Scott (aka Steve Carell) and Dwight Schrute (aka Rainn Wilson) are shown eating breakfast the morning following the rehearsal dinner.
The Smoke House was also featured in the Season 1 episode of Desperate Housewives titled “Move On”, in the scene in which Susan Mayer (aka Teri Hatcher) sings a deeply personal rendition of the song “New York, New York” to her ex-husband Karl (aka Richard Burgi) while at a local karaoke bar.
The Desperate Housewives scene was filmed on the stage located in the restaurant’s bar area.
You can watch Susan’s karaoke scene by clicking above.
The eatery has also appeared in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Cold Case, and in a Season 2 episode of the reality series The Two Coreys, but I cannot for the life of me figure out which episode and it is driving me absolutely crazy! Does anyone out there know?
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Smoke House Restaurant, where Jim and Pam hosted their rehearsal dinner in the “Niagara” episode of The Office, is located at 4420 West Lakeside Drive in Burbank. You can visit the restaurant’s official website here.